‘Pride of Dixie’ may be dropped as UNA marching band nickname

FLORENCE, Ala. – After being known for more than 50 years as the “Pride of Dixie,” the University of North Alabama Marching Band may do away with the nickname.

The university has formed a panel to discuss the nickname’s use after it was omitted during a recent football game against Alabama A&M University, a historically black university. UNA Director of Bands Lloyd Jones omitted the reference “out of respect for A&M’s mission and campus history,” according to a news release sent out Thursday.

The band was given the “Pride of Dixie” nickname in 1965, according to university officials. They said it has been used “episodically,” and that for a period in the 1980s the band was simply known as “The Pride.”

The panel will consist of 19 faculty, students, staff and alumni. Some of them are former and current band members. UNA officials said the panel will examine the issues surrounding the nickname and make recommendations.

A timetable for the panel’s decision wasn’t given.

It isn’t the first time a Dixie reference has been a topic during the football season. Arab City Schools’ superintendent made the decision in August to discontinue the fight song “Dixie” at Arab High School football games.